For the first time in its history, the Japanese manufacturer will take on the Fuji round of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) as the reigning winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans to the delight of its fans at home.
Toyota's track record at the 6 Hours of Fuji is impressive to say the least: since 2012, the year the Japanese marque returned to endurance racing, it has won five out of six times for its home crowd. This coming weekend at the fourth round of the 2018-2019 World Endurance Championship (WEC) Super Saison at Fuji, Toyota will go after another victory as it shares with fans its first-ever win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans clinched in June at the 86th running of the race. It took Toyota 20 attempts to reach the top step on the overall podium, and it owes the long-awaited triumph to the #8 TS050 Hybrid shared by the trio Nakajima-Buemi-Alonso, currently leading the championship. Spectators are expected to flood the circuit located in the shadow of Mount Fuji, just a few kilometers from the Higashi-Fuji Technical Center where the 1,000 hp hybrid-electric engines are designed and produced.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Team President Hisatake Murata (in press release): "These last few weeks we have focused entirely on the 6 Hours of Fuji, and we are absolutely dedicated to winning for our supporters and colleagues. The weekend will be even more special because it's the first time the team will have returned to Japan since winning Le Mans. So we're going to give our all. After Le Mans, this is the most important race for us and the goal is crystal clear, another one-two."
Another interesting element for Toyota and its fans at this running of the 6 Hours of Fuji is Fernando Alonso's debut in Japan, representing Toyota! Fernando Alonso: "This is the first time I will represent Toyota at Fuji and I just can't wait. We are all highly motivated. I am familiar with the circuit because of Formula 1 and I have good memories of it thanks to winning the Japanese Grand Prix in 2008. I know how it feels to claim the top step on the podium here and I hope to do it again this weekend, in part because it's important for the two world championship titles." A win would go a long way to making up for the double disqualification at Silverstone back in August for the nonconformity of a part on the two Japanese hybrid prototypes. The win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans will remain alive and well in people's minds for some time to come, with the trophy still on its triumphant tour, currently stopped at the Paris Motor Show.